Through awkward first dates, bad break-ups and many a tried and ended texting exchanges; I have come to the conclusion that relationships in your 20’s are just flat out difficult. I’m sure this doesn’t change when you hit your 30’s, and your 40’s and your 50’s; but I can’t speak for those decades since I haven’t lived them. So the 20’s is where we will stay for today.
1. Casual Dating vs. Serious Dating -- At our age there are two types of people. The “I am not looking for anything serious” kind of people, who I think really suck by the way. And the “I am looking for a partner in crime” kind of people. I have always fallen under the later, but to each their own. In my eyes, I would never choose to do anything half-ass. If I were doing something half-ass, well then I just wouldn’t do it. I view dating the same way. There is much more fulfillment that stems from finding someone you connect deeply with. I have never been one for the one night stand lifestyle.
Throw her in one of my favorite sweatshirts, grab a couple cups of coffee and watch Netflix as we make plans to change the world... I would camp out all week for that shit. I am obviously bias, but there is nothing wrong with either, just make sure you aren’t the type of person looking for a partner in crime in someone that “doesn’t want anything serious”.
2. We are Selfish with Our Time -- I and most other twenty-somethings I know are incredibly selfish when it comes to what we want to do, when we want to do it and who we want to do it with. I think it is okay to be selfish in your 20’s, when you don’t have any hellions to raise and aren’t married. But eventually you have to be willing to kick that shit to the curb, in order to make a relationship work. I have had more than a few relationships end because I chose to pursue my own passions over the person I was dating. Though, I think when the right person comes along, she in many ways will become one of my passions. Who knows, maybe she already has.
3. Drastically Different Places in Life -- What is exciting yet frustrating about being in your 20’s is that people are in such completely different phases of life. Some people are finishing up undergrad, others have decided to go to grad school, some are traveling the world, others just started their first big boy/girl job, some are living with their parents, some have their own homes.
When you are 30, it is easier to find someone who you are “in stride with”, for lack of a better term/phrase. By that time you are hopefully more settled down, have a career picked out, have chosen a place to call home, etc. But as a 20-something, it is difficult to be a young starving artist trying to make a relationship work with an individual who is in corporate america, has all their ducks in a row and their finances completely under control. Sometimes, you meet someone you like, but you are just at completely different stages in life. That's okay, just have the nuts to walk away. Find someone that has the same, slightly chaotic life as your own, and make each other's worlds a little more peaceful.
4. Nature Breeds for Diversity -- Our genetics have hardwired us to be attracted to people who are different from us. This was a brilliant little trick God had up his sleeve, because he knew through diversity, stronger and healthier beings could be born. Unfortunately, nature sucks at compatibility. What ends up happening? The right brained, highly creative artist falls head over heels for the left brained spreadsheet loving, numbers crunching actuary… and three years later he is writing a poem about how the bitch just threw all of his clothes out of her apartment and left his ass.
The problem? Well, the problem was never really either of them, it was all just an issue of compatibility. I think as we get older, we get better at finding people who are more compatible with us. Then coffee dates, Christmas Eve sex, and same music tastes fill the air as the angels play harps from the heavens and everyone lives happily ever after.
5. Stop Playing the Blame Game -- I touched on this in #4, but it's important so I want to elaborate. Often times when relationships end, at our age, our immediate response is to point fingers. Next thing we know, the person we loved so deeply for so long suddenly transforms into Satan overnight.
Now listen, I am not downplaying any of the horrible shit people do to one another in relationships. What I am saying is that more times than not, it is absolutely no one individual's fault. The relationship had just finally ran it's course, and God decided it was time to make room for someone else to enter our lives. It would be a long dreadfully heavy list to carry around, if we hated every person we dated.
I want to iterate that I am not a relationship expert, in fact I consider myself to be pretty bad at them. I just enjoy writing about the things I think about on a daily basis, and this is a subject that has been on my mind as of late.
Regardless, I don't think we should ever give up. If I can promise you one thing, there are a few hidden gems in the rough we call our twenty-something's.